(Note: Freaky/weird shared dream bullshit)
A few hours later, dawn was beginning to break in Hidden Springs.
Sinbad didn’t remember falling asleep again, but he had to have if he were waking back up. Looking over, he saw that Sagebear was still laying on Shark’s chest.
Carefully, he reached over and pet her on the head. He then got out of bed once more and wandered over to the kitchenette.
Upstairs, Sinbad could hear someone also waking up. The feet that came down the stairs revealed it to be Harwood.
Harwood yawned, and sleepily uttered “Zao shang hao“. He then saw that Shark was still asleep, and went quiet. “Oh…Excuse me.”
In a rare moment of not sipping tea, Ox-Head watched over the now sleeping Annette.
She looked relatively peaceful, given her badly damaged mindset. The teapot had now been dropped onto the floor, spilling its nauseating contents everywhere.
“Poor Andromeda,” Ox-Head whispered. He didn’t know whether to reach in and wake her up, or keep her asleep.
The Builder had not yet come back down to replenish Annette’s spilled tea. None of them were sure whether this was a good thing or not.
In the cell next to Annette’s, Horse-Face could be heard breathing heavily. Sometimes he was coughing. Now he was muttering something in a foreign language.
His companion and The Twin were watching from their hiding place, careful not to disclose their location to Ox-Head.
Slowly, The Twin closed their eyes, and pressed their hands to their temples. The young man was about to ask them what they were doing, but in the end no words came out.
The next time that Annette opened her eyes, it was to a strange world not unlike The Builder’s warp location.
Said location was rather trippy, and quite colorful. Annette was amazed she wasn’t becoming nauseous as a result.
Another thing she realized was that here, her mind appeared to be intact. No nonsensical muttering related to teatime ran through her thoughts. Being here apparently brought her back to normal, if only temporarily.
Off in the distance, someone could be seen. From where she stood, Annette couldn’t tell who it was. Initially only striding, she broke into a run.
To her surprise, she was reaching the mystery person far more quickly than was humanly possible. In record time, she got a clearer look at who it was.
The figure was clearly male, and quite large. The brown hair was unmistakable. Annette began to smile when she realized who it was. In a burst of joy, she called out to him:
When he turned to see her, Annette saw Shark’s face break out into a grin. But to her utter confusion, she saw this wasn’t her Shark.
Rather, it was the Shark from the other world. It was from the hairstyle he was currently sporting. Nevertheless, she waved to him, and he returned it.
However, then Annette got even closer, and things began to turn. The idyllic landscape suddenly began to change color. Beneath her feet, it looked like black sludge was soaking her feet now.
The smile on Shark’s face had now faded, and he seemed to be losing his footing. Frantically, he reached out towards her.
Annette tried grabbing hold of his hand, but it was futile. Quickly, Shark was beginning to disintegrate before her very eyes. Before she could cry out his name, he was gone.
Now alone, Annette saw the landscape become even darker. In her ears, the whispers of ‘I hate you‘ and ‘give him back‘ resonated.
She collapsed where she was, trying to block out the overlapping voices of her long-dead nephew. She didn’t know the exact time she slipped back to her fractured reality.
When Shark awoke, it was to Sagebear’s slobbery kisses and the smell of toast. He didn’t really want to push her off of his chest as he sat up in bed.
In the kitchenette, Sinbad was putting together a breakfast plate while Harwood munched away on the toast he’d been smelling. Shark let them both know he was awake by yawning loudly.
“Good morning to you too, beautiful,” Sinbad responded by walking over with Shark’s plate. “You sleep good?”
Shark tried to remember the bizarre dream he’d just had. All he could remember was seeing Annette running towards him.
“I slept all right, I guess.” But as he spoke, Shark felt a tear roll down his face. He couldn’t figure out why this was.
Wiping it away, he just took hold of his fork and knife, and dug into what Sinbad made for him.
(Song the chapter title comes from: )